Preparing for the Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness

07 Apr 2008

(Nadi, Fiji) - Pacific Island representatives today identified a set of key issues that they would like reflected in the next round of global discussions on aid effectiveness to be held in Accra in September.

These issues include among others, the different ways in which aid impacts upon women, men and marginalized groups; capacity development of Pacific countries, the role of civil society organizations in aid effectiveness; aid harmonization; and managing aid for results.

The issues, reflected in the workshop outcome document, were identified by representatives of Pacific Island governments, donor agencies, CROP and United Nations (UN) agencies at the Pacific Regional Workshop on Aid Effectiveness in Nadi, organized jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Centre and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The workshop served as an opportunity for Pacific Island Countries to discuss inputs for a Pacific specific focus at the next High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness which will be held in Accra from September 2 - 4. The outcomes of the workshop would be presented to the meeting between Pacific Island countries and development partners scheduled for Tuesday April 8 that the PIFS is organizing.

Bee Ean Gooi, the Senior Operations Officer at the World Bank presented the objectives of the Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness at the workshop in Nadi as well as mechanisms for Pacific Island countries to engage in this process. She said this forum provided a mid term stock-take of the Paris Declaration.

The Paris Declaration, agreed to by countries and development partners in 2005, focus on five major areas: ownership, alignment, harmonisation, managing for results and mutual accountability. Five Pacific Island countries have signed up to Paris Declaration; Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands and Tonga. While the remaining Pacific Island countries have not yet formally endorsed the Paris Declaration, capacity building efforts on public financial management by donor partners have addressed the importance of improving aid effectiveness in order to produce better development results. Pacific Island countries, have, however, adopted the Pacific Principle on Aid Effectiveness, which are derived from the Paris Declaration and are designed to fit the Pacific context.

“The Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness seeks to supplement the Paris Declaration,” said Ms Gooi.

She said she was impressed by the feedback she received from the Pacific Island representatives on issues relating to aid effectiveness and encouraged them to follow the procedures that could allow these views to be reflected at the Accra High Level Forum.

The third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness will review the implementation of the Paris Declaration, reinforce country leadership and ownership and address emerging issues.

It will be structured around three complementary segments - the Marketplace of Ideas, providing room for sharing knowledge and presenting innovative ideas; the Ministerial segment, addressing key policy level concerns and addressing the Accra Agenda for Action; the nine roundtable discussions providing space for in-depth dialogue on selected topics which include among others; situations of fragility and conflicts, role of civil society in conflicts, strengthening mutual accountability and managing for development results and impacts.